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100 best G-rated movies to watch as a family

  • 100 best G-rated movies to watch as a family

    The earliest movies, some only mere seconds long, were made in the last decade of the 19th century after Thomas Edison invented the kinetoscope. As technology quickly advanced, the demand for more moving pictures, longer in length, and with more elaborate story lines, increased. By the early 20th century the motion-picture industry as we know it today was beginning to emerge. And the rest, as they say, is history.

    Things in the motion-picture industry have changed dramatically since those early days, including how we rate films. For example, in 1922, in the early days of studios, William Hays formed the Motion Pictures Distributors Association of America. This governing body would go on to create the moral censorship guidelines or the Hays Code as it was often referred to, which provided regulations about the types of content that could or could not be shown on screen. The Hays Code, which remained in place for nearly 40 years, was incredibly strict with rules like “films can only present correct standards of life,” “crime and immorality could never be portrayed in a positive light,” and “religion could never be depicted in a mocking manner.”

    Then, in 1968, the modern voluntary movie rating system was born. The new system rated films G, M, R, and X and focused less on determining what audiences could see and more on giving parents a system that they could use to decide what was appropriate for their families. This modern-day system has gone through several rounds of refinement over the years but since the beginning, the G rating has indicated that a film is appropriate for audiences of all ages.

    In the following slides, Stacker has rounded up a list of the 100 best G-rated films to watch as a family. To do so, we’ve compiled data on all G-rated movies to come up with a Stacker score—a weighted index split evenly between IMDb and Metacritic scores. To qualify, the film had to be listed as G-rated on IMDb, have a Metascore, and have at least 5,000 votes. Ties were broken by Metascore and further ties were broken by IMDb user rating. From “Bugsy Malone” to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” any one of these movies would make a great pick for your next family movie night.

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  • #100. Bugsy Malone (1976)

    - Director: Alan Parker
    - Stacker score: 76
    - Metascore: 71
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Runtime: 93 min

    Generally speaking, classic gangster movies aren’t exactly appropriate for children because of things like violence and language. The only exception to this rule is “Bugsy Malone,” a G-rated spoof of these classic movies where all the mobsters are children and the machine guns are replaced with cream-shooting “splurge guns.” The film stars Jodie Foster (who had just finished the very adult “Taxi Driver”) and Scott Baio.

  • #99. The Land Before Time (1988)

    - Director: Don Bluth
    - Stacker score: 76
    - Metascore: 66
    - IMDb user rating: 7.4
    - Runtime: 69 min

    Grab the tissues before settling in with this film, because “The Land Before Time” is certainly a tear-jerker. In the first moments of the dinosaur classic produced by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, Littlefoot’s mother dies as she attempts to protect him from a carnivore. For the rest of the movie, Littlefoot, and his pals Cera, Ducky, Petrie, and Spike battle the murderous T-rex and journey to the Great Valley where there are more of Littlefoot’s kind.

  • #98. The Rookie (2002)

    - Director: John Lee Hancock
    - Stacker score: 77
    - Metascore: 72
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Runtime: 127 min

    “The Rookie” is one of those feel-good movies that’s based on a true story. It’s about a high school baseball coach (played by Dennis Quaid) whose major league dreams were cut short by a shoulder injury. He makes a deal with his last-place team that if they win the District Championships he’ll try out for the major leagues, and is quickly on his way to becoming the oldest rookie in the MLB.

  • #97. The Jungle Book (1967)

    - Directors: Wolfgang Reitherman, James Algar, Jack Kinney
    - Stacker score: 77
    - Metascore: 65
    - IMDb user rating: 7.6
    - Runtime: 78 min

    Loosely based on the book by Rudyard Kipling, the Disney animated classic “The Jungle Book” was the last film Walt Disney himself had a hand in. The first draft of the adventure tale about a boy raised by wolves and his jungle pals was deemed too dark for young audiences, and it had to be completely rewritten before the studio head would sign off on it.

  • #96. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

    - Director: Brian Henson
    - Stacker score: 77
    - Metascore: 64
    - IMDb user rating: 7.7
    - Runtime: 85 min

    A Muppet spin on the classic Charles Dickens tale, “The Muppet Christmas Carol” is great viewing both during the holiday season and year-round. Much of the script was pulled directly from the book, but the puppets—who fill every role except that of Scrooge, which was played by Sir Michael Caine—help to dull the scary bits for younger viewers.

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  • #95. The Great Muppet Caper (1981)

    - Director: Jim Henson
    - Stacker score: 77
    - Metascore: 70
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Runtime: 97 min

    “The Great Muppet Caper” is the second live-action muppet film. In the movie, Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo must clear Miss Piggy’s name after she’s framed for a jewel heist. An often underrated Muppets movie, the 1981 picture marks Jim Henson’s directorial debut, and one of its songs, “The First Time It Happens,” was nominated for an Academy Award.

  • #94. The Cat Returns (2002)

    - Director: Hiroyuki Morita
    - Stacker score: 77
    - Metascore: 70
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Runtime: 75 min

    A Studio Ghibli production, “The Cat Returns” is about a Japanese schoolgirl who saves the life of a cat who turns out to be a prince, and then narrowly avoids getting trapped in the Cat Kingdom after she accompanies him home. Anne Hathaway and Peter Boyle lend their voices to the English version of this fantastical fairytale.

  • #93. Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    - Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
    - Stacker score: 77
    - Metascore: 68
    - IMDb user rating: 7.4
    - Runtime: 75 min

    Based on Lewis Carroll’s books “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass,” “Alice in Wonderland” tends to be one of Disney’s lesser-praised projects. Walt Disney had originally envisioned the movie as part live-action, starring none other than Mary Pickford, and part animated, before realizing he could do far more with a film that was completely animated.

  • #92. The Absent Minded Professor (1961)

    - Director: Robert Stevenson
    - Stacker score: 78
    - Metascore: 75
    - IMDb user rating: 6.8
    - Runtime: 92 min

    In 1959, Walt Disney drew inspiration from two short stories from Samuel Taylor about a professor who creates a revolutionary flying rubber and invents a flying car. Three years later, “The Absent Minded Professor” starring Fred MacMurray premiered at Radio City Music Hall where it ran for seven straight weeks and earned three Academy Award nominations.

  • #91. The Rescuers (1977)

    - Directors: John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, Art Stevens
    - Stacker score: 78
    - Metascore: 74
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Runtime: 78 min

    “The Rescuers” is a Disney classic about a mouse detective named Bianca, and her assistant, Bernard, both members of the Rescue Aid Society, who spring into action to save a human girl named Penny from the evil Madame Medusa. For a while, there was a rumor flying around that a topless woman could briefly be seen in the background of a scene, but have no fear, the images have been edited out in every current release of the film.

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